Employment in the UK fell by 247,000 in July-September compared with the previous year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports, to 32.51m.
That’s the largest annual decrease since January to March 2010, another grim consequence of the pandemic.
However, the IEA said that the latest unemployment figures published by the ONS report shows a rise from 4.5% to 4.8% in the three months to September.
IEA Economics Fellow Julian Jessop said, “The further rise in unemployment is unwelcome, but it’s worth emphasising how low unemployment still remains, considering the huge hit to economic activity.
“This is partly due to continued government support, including the furlough scheme, but is also a tribute to the flexibility of the UK labour market.
“Other European countries have provided similar government support but have still seen unemployment rise to far higher levels; average unemployment in the eurozone is 8.3% compared to less than 5% in the UK.
“Unemployment remains on track to peak below 7%, which is far lower than many feared.”
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